Melocactus

 

The genus Melocactus includes around 40 cacti from Mexico, the West Indies, and northern South America. Many of these species are endangered, and plants in cultivation are almost always grown from seeds. They are slow-growing, often difficult to grow. They are globular plants, generally solitary, except if the growing tip has been damaged. When they are mature, the body stops growing and produces a crown on its apex named cephalium. This densely spined area is where the flowers and fruit will be produced. The cephalium can keep on growing for many years, and in some species can exceed the height of the body itself. The striking difference between the body and the cephalium, reminds of a cap, hence the name Turk's Cap Cacti given to many specimen in this genus. The botanical name comes from the Latine for 'melon cacti'.

Most Melocactus have specialized requirements that make them tricky to grow. They are rot prone and should be drained in shallow containers with well-draining soil mixture. In summer water and feed regularly. In winter, decrease the watering, but still they need regular water. Deionized water or distilled water is better. Some direct sun light is necessary, but in the hot desert of Arizona, they burn easily. To insure optimum growth, it is a good idea to repot them in Spring every 2-3 years.

The Melocactus flowers are generally a shade of pink or red. They come in abondance from spring to fall depending on the species. They are followed by fleshy fruit.

Species and varieties
Melocactus albicephalus
Melocactus andinus
Melocactus azureus (Turk's Cap Cactus)
Melocactus azureus var. krainzianus
Melocactus azureus ssp. ferreophilus
Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus bahiensis ssp. amethystinus
Melocactus bellavistensis
Melocactus bellavistensis ssp. onychacanthus
Melocactus broadwayi
Melocactus caroli-linnaei
Melocactus concinnus
Melocactus conoideus
Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus curvispinus ssp. caesius (Buche)
Melocactus curvispinus ssp. dawsonii
Melocactus deinacanthus (Wonderfully Bristled Turk's-Cap Cactus)
Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus ernestii ssp. longicarpus
Melocactus estevesii
Melocactus glaucescens
Melocactus grueberi
Melocactus harlowii
Melocactus horridus
Melocactus intortus
Melocactus intortus ssp. domingensis
Melocactus lanssensianus
Melocactus lemairei
Melocactus levitestatus
Melocactus macracanthus
Melocactus matanzanus (Dwarf Turk's Cap Cactus)
Melocactus mazelianus
Melocactus neryi
Melocactus oreas
Melocactus oreas ssp. cremnophilus
Melocactus pachyacanthus
Melocactus pachyacanthus ssp. viridis
Melocactus paucispinus
Melocactus perezassoi
Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus praerupticola
Melocactus salvadorensis
Melocactus schatzlii
Melocactus smithii
Melocactus violaceus
Melocactus violaceus ssp. margaritaceus
Melocactus violaceus ssp. ritteri
Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus acispinosus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus actinacanthus synonym of Melocactus matanzanus (Dwarf Turk's Cap Cactus)
Melocactus acunai synonym of Melocactus harlowii
Melocactus acunai ssp. lagunaensis synonym of Melocactus harlowii
Melocactus amethystinus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis ssp. amethystinus
Melocactus ammotrophus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus amoenus synonym of Melocactus neryi
Melocactus amstutziae synonym of Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus antonii synonym of Melocactus intortus
Melocactus arcuatispinus synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus axiniphorus synonym of Melocactus concinnus
Melocactus azulensis synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus barbarae synonym of Melocactus macracanthus
Melocactus besleri synonym of Discocactus placentiformis
Melocactus borhidii synonym of Melocactus harlowii
Melocactus bozsingianus synonym of Melocactus macracanthus
Melocactus brederooianus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus brongnartii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus caesius synonym of Melocactus curvispinus ssp. caesius (Buche)
Melocactus canescens synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus communis synonym of Melocactus intortus
Melocactus cremnophilus synonym of Melocactus oreas ssp. cremnophilus
Melocactus curvicornis synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus curvispinus synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus dawsonii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus ssp. dawsonii
Melocactus deinacanthus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus deinacanthus ssp. florschuetzianus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus deinacanthus ssp. longicarpus synonym of Melocactus ernestii ssp. longicarpus
Melocactus delessertianus synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus depressus synonym of Melocactus violaceus
Melocactus diersianus synonym of Melocactus levitestatus
Melocactus douradaensis synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus ellemeetii synonym of Melocactus violaceus
Melocactus ernesti synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus erythracanthus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus evae synonym of Melocactus harlowii
Melocactus ferreophilus synonym of Melocactus azureus ssp. ferreophilus
Melocactus florschuetzianus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus fortalezensis synonym of Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus giganteus synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus glauxianus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus griseus synonym of Melocactus curvispinus ssp. caesius (Buche)
Melocactus grisoleoviridis synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus guaricensis synonym of Melocactus neryi
Melocactus guatemalensis synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus guitartii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus helvolilanatus synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus hispaniolicus synonym of Melocactus lemairei
Melocactus holguinensis synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus huallancaensis synonym of Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus humilis synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus inclinatus synonym of Melocactus macracanthus
Melocactus inconcinnus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus inconcinnus var. brederooianus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus interpositus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus intortus var. antonii synonym of Melocactus intortus
Melocactus jakusii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus jansenianus synonym of Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus krainzianus synonym of Melocactus azureus var. krainzianus
Melocactus latispinus synonym of Ferocactus latispinus ssp. latispinus (Devil's Tongue Barrel, Crow's Claw Cactus)
Melocactus laui synonym of Melocactus macracanthus
Melocactus lensselinkianus synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus lobelii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus loboguerreroi synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus longicarpus synonym of Melocactus ernestii ssp. longicarpus
Melocactus longispinus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus macrodiscus synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus macrodiscus var. minor synonym of Melocactus violaceus ssp. ritteri
Melocactus mammillariaeformis synonym of Coryphantha retusa
Melocactus margaritaceus synonym of Melocactus violaceus ssp. margaritaceus
Melocactus maxonii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus maxonii var. sanctae-rosae synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus melocactoides synonym of Melocactus violaceus
Melocactus montanus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus mulequensis synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus nagyii synonym of Melocactus harlowii
Melocactus neomontanus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus nitidus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus oaxacensis synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus obtusipetalus synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus onychacanthus synonym of Melocactus bellavistensis ssp. onychacanthus
Melocactus oreas synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus oreas var. longispinus synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus oreas ssp. bahiensis synonym of Melocactus bahiensis (Cabeca de Frade)
Melocactus oreas ssp. ernestii synonym of Melocactus ernestii
Melocactus oreas ssp. rubrisaetosus synonym of Melocactus oreas
Melocactus pedernalensis synonym of Melocactus intortus
Melocactus peruvianus var. amstutziae synonym of Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus pruinosus synonym of Melocactus concinnus
Melocactus pruinosus var. concinnus synonym of Melocactus concinnus
Melocactus radoczii synonym of Melocactus harlowii
Melocactus robustispinus synonym of Melocactus concinnus
Melocactus rubrisaetosus synonym of Melocactus oreas
Melocactus rubrispinus synonym of Melocactus levitestatus
Melocactus ruestii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus ruestii ssp. centalapensis synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus ruestii ssp. maxonii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus ruestii ssp. oaxacensis synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus ruestii ssp. sanctae-rosae synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus rustii synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus salvador synonym of Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus saxicola synonym of Melocactus zehntneri
Melocactus securituberculatus synonym of Melocactus levitestatus
Melocactus shulzianus synonym of Melocactus neryi
Melocactus trujilloensis synonym of Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus uebelmannianus synonym of Melocactus levitestatus
Melocactus uebelmannii synonym of Melocactus levitestatus
Melocactus unguispinus synonym of Melocactus peruvianus
Melocactus violaceus ssp. natalensis synonym of Melocactus violaceus
Melocactus warasii synonym of Melocactus levitestatus
Melocactus zehntneri ssp. robustispinus synonym of Melocactus concinnus

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